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Old 01-02-2005, 08:37 PM   #1
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Question Progression/Breast Cancer ???

My MIL was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago and refused Western treatment and opted for homeopathic therapies. She has kept her son (my husband) in the dark for the most part as she does not want him to worry, but this past summer she'd mentioned that the tumor had gotten larger; however she did not indicate how large was "larger". This fall, she reported developing an abscess on her chest that was bleeding through the skin and required multiple bandage changes daily. She had lost weight, going from 145 to 99 lbs over the course of a year, yet had gained 15 lbs back this year.

She was hospitalized on New Year's Eve for arm edema and put on blood thinners to reduce clotting; however, she reported that this will increase the bleeding through the breast at the abscess. She is hesitant to have the breast removed. She did tell my husband that mestatsis has set in (not sure what that means) and that the doctors are wanting to remove the affected breast.

My question pertains to what stage she may be in. I've searched the Internet for progression but since I do not know the size of the tumor, I can't base the progression on that and I can't find anything about arm edema associated with NON treatment, nor bleeding through the skin/abscess.

My MIL has been pacifying my husband and has told my husband that this is nothing serious, nor life threatening, but I have my doubts. Perhaps someone here can give me some information as to what stage she may be in based on these symptoms? And if she is possibly in end-stage, how much longer might she have?

Thank you.

 
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Old 01-07-2005, 09:22 AM   #2
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Re: Progression/Breast Cancer ???

When the cancer has metasasized that means it has spread to other parts of the body, most commonly for breast cancer is bones, lungs, liver, chest. Once it has metasasized, it is a Stage IV and there is no cure only pallative care to make the patient have a better quality of life. Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, etc. may be prescribed to help extend life, but at this point in time there is no cure for it. The average life expectancy is 18 - 24 months for someone who has been diagnosed with Metasized Breast Cancer. Depending on how extensive it is or isn't the time period could be more or less.

If you are wondering how I know all of this, I too have metasized breast cancer (spread to my liver), and will begin more treatments this month to help extend my life. I am a mother of 2; a 4 year old and a 16 month old. I was originally diagnosed with BC when I was 17 weeks pregnant with my youngest, I went through Chemo, had the baby at 34weeks, had my mastecomy, followed by more chemo and radiation. I thought I was in the clear until about a month or so ago, then just this past week, they confirmed what I thought, it had spread to my liver. I just lost my mom in October to Liver Metasis from Ocular Melanoma. It was only 2 months from dignoses to her death. I just hope mine is a little longer.

My thoughts are with your family, I know what a difficult time this is, I've been there and are currently there.

 
Old 01-12-2005, 01:22 AM   #3
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Re: Progression/Breast Cancer ???

I am so sorry for both of you. I came here looking for some help because my mother in law was just diagnosed with breast cancer. She is having her left breast removed week after next. She said the dr said it was stage 1. She had a lump removed last week. However they havnt from my understanding checked her lymp nodes yet. So how can they have already staged it? I about cried when she told me the news. However she told me dont you dare its going to be ok. She has a positive attitude I guess I am afraid it will turn out worse than she thinks it is. Any help on helping me understand the lymp thing would be greatly appreciated.

 
Old 03-01-2005, 12:07 PM   #4
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Re: Progression/Breast Cancer ???

My mother has breast cancer and at December CAT scan a small spot showed up on her liver. They changed her medication from Arimidex to Faslodex and she has been having trouble getting around the house and now needs a walker to feel safe. We feel it is the medication change. Her blood levels where good till December then 1 elevated to 45 from 24 and the other stillwas within range but slightly elevated. I am more concerned about quality of life what are other people's experiences with faslodex? We are also using Garden of life RM-10 and Norwegien Cod Liver oil as a supplement. history - double mastectomy, historectomy due to bleeding from tamoxifin treatment changed to arimidex and now faslodex. We are looking for alternatives. She is 82 and upto the change in Medication has been doing well. We would like to go back and try tamoxifin again.

 
Old 03-01-2005, 12:35 PM   #5
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Re: Progression/Breast Cancer ???

I just want to say to all of you that my thoughts are with you and especially Motherof2Fl. I am at work checking the board, and I nearly burst into tears when I read your posting. I have two little ones (bit bigger than yours), and I am so sad for you. I have nothing of significant value to offer in terms of advice, but I offer my prayers. I keep asking people if they have heard of maitake mushrooms treating cancer as I read about a study done on mice with tumours where the mushrooms had reduced the size of the tumours significantly, but no one has responded to date. However, if there is nothing to lose I guess anything is worth a try...
God bless you all,

 
Old 03-04-2005, 03:08 PM   #6
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Re: Progression/Breast Cancer ???

Motherof2FL
I feel so bad for you and hope that somehow miraculasly (spelling) you will be cured. I had a mastectomy in 2002 and try not to think about BC but I guess it could always still be around hiding somewhere in the body waiting to show itself. I did not have radiation - had it on the thymus as a kid and oncologist said you can't do it 2x to the same area- it would damage the lung. I did not take Tamoxifen but a year after the surgery I found out my bones went down 33% and was put on Raloxifene (Evista) which is not doing much. I went down another 3%. The HRT was what was keeping my bones good despite a long period of steroids for Crohn's disease in 2001. I have been thinking about HRT again since I can't take the other osteo drugs but no one will give it to me because of the BC. I don't want to die of osteo either. I already broke my collarbone opening the car door into it and a rib from doing nothing. Don't know what to do - which poison to pick if they even allow me to pick one. Bless you. I am praying for you.

Suggi

 
Old 03-04-2005, 08:05 PM   #7
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Re: Progression/Breast Cancer ???

God bless those of you going through this terrible disease. My prayers are with you and I know that there are miracles and pray that a miracle will touch your life. My thoughts are with your families as well. Please take care and keep a positive attitude.

 
Old 03-06-2005, 08:49 AM   #8
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Re: Progression/Breast Cancer ???

I'm 41 years old and I've just been diagnosed with breast cancer again. I had Stage II breast cancer 6 years ago. As far as surgeries and treatments, I think I had them all! I had a lumpectomy followed by a mastectomy. I had chemotherapy for 7 months, radiation for 5 weeks and hormone therapy ever since. I went to show and tell in my daughter's kindergarden class with my bald head and had a bright smile on my face. I felt very brave and confident thinking that the cancer was gone for good 3 years ago and had breast reconstruction with tissue from my abdomen. This surgery took 9 hours. But I was glad I did it. I've felt much better in my clothes. I then had a second plastic surgery to fix the other breast and I thought I was home free. Now there is this lump on my chest and the biopsie came back positive for cancer. I'm going through all the tests to find out where it's coming from. I guess there is a small chance that it's isolated but my doctor doesn't seem to think so. I am so stressed it's hard to function. I have 3 kids who need their mother and a great job. I'm afraid to tell people about the cancer because I don't want to cause them pain. I haven't told my parents yet because I know that I'll have to carry them through this and I don't think that I have the energy for it. Knowing that I am not alone might help me get through this.

 
Old 03-07-2005, 08:59 AM   #9
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Re: Progression/Breast Cancer ???

Please tell someone, Still2, even if not those who you think may not be up to it. You won't be able to cope with this alone. Even if it is a support group. I am glad you are coming to this site, but I am worried about you. Looking after 3 kids and a big black secret is too much for anyone to bear.
I have posted and reposted this info over and over, and hope that it helps someone:
essaic tea
maitake mushrooms
hyperthermic treatment in conjunction with chemo/radiation
Power of prayer (St. Jude- for all hopeless causes)

The first two are herbal, and proven to successfully reduced the size of tumours
The third is a treatment discovered by accident. Heating up the tumour makes it more vulnerable to low intensity chemo and radiation therapies. It had a
40% cure rate of advanced-terminal patients. It is particularly used for breast cancer patients. No hoax...discovery channel special two weeks back. Both patients (stage 3 - I think) had their tumours significantly reduce in size within a 3 - 6 month period. And almost no side effects from treatment.

God bless everyone here suffering, you are all in my prayers.

Last edited by phaedrus; 03-07-2005 at 08:59 AM.

 
Old 03-08-2005, 09:23 AM   #10
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Re: Progression/Breast Cancer ???

Stilltoomuchtodo
Please post again and let us know how you are doing. I pray that it hasn't spread and they can just take the lump out. I had a mastectomy almost 3 years ago and was told to watch for a lump on the chest also.

I hope the doctor is wrong.

Suggi

 
Old 03-08-2005, 05:36 PM   #11
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Re: Progression/Breast Cancer ???

I had a MRI and a bone scan yesterday. It was my first MRI and I freaked out. I panicked when they moved me in the "tunnel". The technologist was very nice and she suggested a few things to make me feel better. I ended up laying on my stomach. This way I could look out the end of the tunnel and I felt fine. I don't know if I'm being paranoid or not but I could see the pity in the personnel's eyes after they took the pictures. They were fine before the test but I noticed a change after. Of course, it could be me as well. I've been having this pain under my arm for a week now. That could be what I call "sympathy pain". It could also be because I shovelled the driveway like a mad woman to vent my anger! I'm going to tell my kids this week-end. I feel that I can tell them now without falling apart. Thank you for answering my post. Every little bit helps!

 
Old 03-11-2005, 07:08 PM   #12
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Re: Progression/Breast Cancer ???

Stilltoomuch
What were the results of your tests? Hope they were good. I am praying for you. Please post and let us know what is going on.

Suggi

 
Old 03-14-2005, 06:13 PM   #13
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Re: Progression/Breast Cancer ???

motherof2FL

Please let us know how you are doing. You are in my prayers.

Suggi

 
Old 03-14-2005, 06:16 PM   #14
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Re: Progression/Breast Cancer ???

Stilltomuch where are you. How are you doing? You are in my prayers also.

Suggi

 
Old 03-16-2005, 06:26 PM   #15
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Re: Progression/Breast Cancer ???

Well. I got good news from my doctors. I had to wait a whole month to get all the results and it's a local recurrence. There was never anyone so happy to have cancer in recent history! I guess the pain under my arm was mostly in my head... It's amazing what the mind can do. The tumor is self-contained! Oh! I still have to have surgery but I'll keep my tram flap. The surgeon will graph some skin from my thigh to cover the spot where the tumor is. And I'll still have 6 months of chemo. And maybe some radiation. Pretty much what I did 6 years ago. But I could do it before and I can do it again. I told my kids and my mother about the cancer before getting the results. You were right: I can't keep it all inside. Keep posting messages on this board: you are not alone.

 
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